Basketball wrap: Jefferson boys upset third-ranked Beamer, 66-56

Jefferson senior forward Eric Radford dribbles away from Beamer junior Max Aficiuc during the Raiders
Jefferson senior forward Eric Radford dribbles away from Beamer junior Max Aficiuc during the Raiders' 66-56 win over the third-ranked Titans Monday at Beamer. It was both teams' season openers.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The Thomas Jefferson boys basketball program hasn't accumulated a lot of signature wins during the last 25 years. That's just what happens when a team hasn't qualified for the West Central District Tournament since 1985.

But the Raiders picked up one of those big-time victories Monday night in their season-opener against the third-ranked Todd Beamer Titans. Jefferson never trailed and dominated the Titans, 66-56, on Beamer's home floor.

"It's huge," TJ senior guard Jeff Brigham said. "We are coming into this with no expectations. It was amazing to play the No. 3 team in the state and take them down in their own house."

Brigham was huge during Monday's win. The 6-foot-1 shooting guard drained eight 3-pointers and tallied 30 points. Brigham was able to get off clean look after clean look from behind the 3-point line against the Titan defense despite proving he could make the shot. In total, Jefferson finished 12 for 22 from behind the 3-point line.

"Our whole team can definitely shoot it," said first-year TJ head coach Kyle Templeton. "We have a lot of shooters so we can spread the floor. Other teams kind of have to pick their poison."

Monday's game was Brigham's debut on the varsity basketball stage. The senior, who has already signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Washington, played the entire season on the Raiders' junior varsity last year. Brigham also had five rebounds and three steals against Beamer.

The Raiders were never really threatened during the game, especially during the first half of play.

The Titans, who return four starters from last year's state tournament team, started the game without their two returning all-league players from a season ago — Kevin Davis and Napa Mefi. The twosome were held out of the first quarter for disciplinary reasons.

Jefferson took advantage of the absence of Davis and Mefi, building up an 18-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play. But even when both entered the game, the Raiders were still able to extend their lead during the second quarter.

Jefferson led 35-17 with a minute left in the first half before Beamer hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 15 at half.

Beamer did come out with a little fire during the third quarter. The Titans went on a 23-11 run to cut the TJ lead to 46-43 after a 3-pointer by senior guard Lorenzo Holcomb. But that was as close as Beamer would get.

A Davis dunk with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter, got the Titans within four at 60-56. But those were the last points Beamer would score during the game. The Raiders tallied the last six points of the game on a jumper from Brigham and back-to-back layups by seniors Justin Lanier and Spencer Hicks. Lanier, TJ's leading returning scorer, finished with nine points and Hicks had four points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Senior forward Eric Radford also chipped in nine points for Jefferson.

Beamer was led by the 18 points of Davis and got 12 from senior guard Terrelle Loggins. Loggins was making his Titan debut after transferring from Spanaway Lake during the summer. Mefi, who averaged 15 points a season ago, finished with five.

"We now know that we can play with anybody," Templeton said. "We just have to keep getting better."

The Raiders open their South Puget Sound League North Division season against the Auburn Trojans Friday night in Auburn. Beamer opens its SPSL South season Friday against Emerald Ridge at home.

Jefferson 66, Beamer 56 (Nov. 30)

Jefferson 18 17 14 17 — 66

Beamer 7 13 23 13 — 56

Jefferson — Jeff Brigham 30, Justin Lanier 9, Eric Radford 9, Jeff Baklund 7, Chase Braxmeyer 5, Spencer Hicks 4, Scott Sanford 2.

Beamer — Kevin Davis 18, Terelle Loggins 12, Max Aficiuc 5, Napa Mefi 5, Vladi Aficiuc 4, Anthony Moore 4, Mac Gridley 3, Lorenzo Holcomb 3, Thomas Rhodes 2.

Girls Basketball

Jefferson 60, Beamer 47 (Monday)

The Thomas Jefferson Raiders started their season with a 60-47 non-league win over Beamer Monday night at TJ.

The Raiders got 21 points from senior guard Hannah Kiyohara, 14 from Jada Piper and 12 from Unique Taufa'asau during the win.

Jefferson jumped out to a 17-8 lead after the first quarter and led 34-23 at halftime.

Beamer was led by the 28 points of Shyla Akins, but the junior was the only Titan in double figures during the game.

Jefferson 60, Beamer 47

Beamer 8 15 7 17 — 47

Jefferson 17 17 13 13 — 60

Beamer — Akins 28, Obungen 8, Culp 5, Winton 4, Young 2.

Jefferson — Hannah Kiyohara 21, Jada Piper 14, Unique Taufa'asau 12, Christina Kullberg 8, Karen Carpenter 2, Palvi Soni 2, Raelynn Pulliam 1.

Federal Way 69, Cleveland 51 (Monday)

The No. 1-ranked Eagles moved to 2-0 on the year with a non-league win over Cleveland Monday in Federal Way.

The Eagles struggled during the first half against Class 3A Cleveland. Federal Way actually trailed at halftime, 23-21, before outscoring Cleveland 48-28 in the third and fourth quarters.

Federal Way got 18 points each from sophomore Darah Huertas-Vining and freshman Dyesha Belhumuer and 17 from junior Talia Walton.

The Eagles started their season with a non-league win over Rogers, 85-52, on Nov. 28. Walton led five players in double figures with 21 points.

Federal Way 85, Rogers 52 (Nov. 28)

Rogers 8 17 13 14 — 52

Federal Way 23 19 22 21 — 85

Rogers — Cox 5, Greer 4, Perez 2, Jones 19, Asher 11, Williams 10, Saunders 1.

Federal Way — Fuller 6, Campbell 5, Jones 4, Walton 21, D. Huertas-Vining 14, Roland 14, Belhumeur 11, Dixon 10.

Federal Way 69, Cleveland 51 (Nov. 30)

Cleveland 8 15 13 15 — 51

Federal Way 14 7 26 22 — 69

Cleveland — Savini 4, W. Wilson 4, Jenkins 3, C. Wilson 27, Smith 2, Scott 10, Trotter 1.

Federal Way — Dixon 8, Campbell 4, Roland 4, Belhumeur 18, D. Huertas-Vining 18, Walton 17.

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